Wednesday, October 3, 2007

New Statistics!

I have spent a few minutes thinking of other ways to create descriptive
and/or helpful statistics for me to use when analyzing my fuel
consumption and travel data.

A neat thing is that I can go back in time to make historical
information about these statistics, even though I just now thought of
them, to see how things have changed (or not) over the last years.

Popular stats include miles per gallon (mpg) and average mpg. That's
about it, I guess.

But today I started wondering how much this actually costs me as I
travel around. Obviously, highway travel at a constant speed will be
less than stop-and-go traffic driving, but aggregate numbers derived
from each tank ought to give me a good general idea.

Some media outlets use "cost per mile" as part of ownership costs. I
can figure out my gas cost per mile each tank. I change my own oil, and
have not had any major engine or brake work on the car yet, so that data
obviously would affect things. But overall cost per mile seems good.
Only thing is, the fluctuations of gas prices really change it a lot.

This year, I paid 7.3 cents per mile on a tank that served me with 37.6
mpg, yet 7.2 cents per mile on a tank that got me 39.42 miles per
gallon. One tank I paid 5.1 cents per mile but just got 36.6 mpg. This
may not be a good statistic.

Then I thought of "miles per dollar," which is almost as useless, but
easier for me to picture me spending money, as the numbers are bigger.
For instance, my last tank I went 430.8 miles, and spent $27.89 to
refuel, making for 15.45 miles driven per dollar spent at the pump. So
this is about $4.00 per hour driving at about 63 miles per hour.

I gladly entertain ideas for better descriptive statistics. For now I
can impress my friends and family (or bore them, if you feel that way)
by announcing that I spend about six and a half cents per mile in my

At the very least, I can be proud (to use the term generously) that I
probably am the only one in my circle of friends that knows this sort of
information about my primary vehicle.

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